SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — We’ve all heard the saying “No good deed goes unnoticed.”
“It’s been crazy,” begins Magnolia School of Excellence graduate Mathew Brothers, talking about the year 2020 as a whole.
When we first met Mathew in May, his school was holding a makeshift graduation event in its carpool lanes, a “just in case” moment in the event the Shreveport school was unable to host a formal graduation due to COVID-19.
But great news, for both Mathew and Magnolia. The students were finally able to take part in a formal, cap and gown graduation the last week of July.
And it was especially meaningful for Mathew, who battled through years of depression to make it to this day.
“It’s kind of a learning lesson in life. Things are going to happen. But you can’t let it set you back,” explains Mathew.
“God has plans for everyone in the world.”
A graduating senior from Airline High School found himself dealing with the strangeness of 2020 in his own way earlier this year on the baseball field.
While the Vikings baseball game against Ruston High School was nearing the end, Bryson Connell and the other senior baseball players knew their high school careers were possibly just minutes from coming to a crashing half due to the pandemic lockdown put in place in mid-March.
So with their game tied in the bottom of the last inning and Airline High down to its last out, Bryson stepped to the plate.
“I knew this was it. It was going to be my last at bat, probably.”
Bryson promptly hit a run-scoring double, knocking in the winning run, sending his teammates and fans into a frantic celebration.
A celebration that quickly was internally silenced because, as they walked off the field, they knew their senior season was likely over.
“I’m proud of the men you’ve become and will be,” head coach Toby Todd wrote in a group text weeks later and moments after the Louisiana High School Athletic Association declared the season officially over.
“We say that sports will make you tougher, and I truly believe it,” his text continued. “I have no doubt you will survive and overcome this.”
After our story aired about Coach Todd’s touching sendoff to his players, word quickly spread across the sports region.
And soon after, I received a text from Neville head baseball coach Paul Guerriero.
It read, ”Not only did it tell the story of Airline, it told the story for all of us all over the state. Thank you for your work on that, and for all you do.”
Also not long after the lockdown began, a Shreveport business owner found himself on the outside looking in, with his tattoo shop deemed non-essential and forced to close.
Micah Harold quickly found a way to make it essential again.
“Look at this stuff. It’s going directly to the hospitals,” Micah said while showing off cleaning supplies he had been storing in his shop.
He began collecting those supplies, along with PPEs, and groceries for those in need, from nurses to the elderly.
After our story aired, his caring effort was noticed by the publishers of Reader’s Digest.
The magazine named his business, Red Handed Tattoo, as one of the 50 nicest places in America.
Long before the pandemic of 2020, there was a young Shreveport girl named Ivanna who was facing a life-and-death situation.
In 2016, at the young age of 3 months old, her heart was giving out.
But her body was soon given new life when the family was notified that a donor heart was on its way to save Ivanna’s life.
Right away, Valarie knew it was from the parents of the little girl named Mya from Topeka, Kan., who had died mere hours before Ivanna underwent her heart transplant surgery.
“It’s the gift of life,” said Ivanna’s grandfather Charles Glover.
“Who would not want to say thank you.”
The two families have since grown closer over the years.
Ironically, Charles received a donor heart nearly two dozen years prior, saving his life.
But recently, Charles was delivered a crushing blow when he was diagnosed with Stage III cancer.
He recently finished his last chemotherapy treatment, and happily is able to report his last scans show he’s cancer free.
But he knows his fight may be far from over.
Meanwhile, Erin and Trevor Young just celebrated the birth of their second child since losing Mya at the young age of 7 months.
Zeke was born four months ago.